New Nuclear Power Reactors: Still A Dangerous Bet


Nuclear Power is re-gaining traction as a viable form of energy because it’s (sort-of) good for the environment. Nuclear power doesn’t emit massive amounts of carbon, and for the energy independence crowd, it’s usually a local power generator, not an import.

Finland is finishing construction of a new nuclear reactor designed in France called a European pressurised Reactor (EPR). France also plans on building an EPR, which is supposed to use less uranium and create less waste than a typical reactor.

The problem with the EPR? While it produces less waste, the waste it produces is considerably more radioactive. Greenpeace discovered that the waste is 7 times more radioactive than standard nuclear waste after looking at the environmental impact assessment report from the company responsible for managing waste for the EPR in Finland. The company that designed the EPR says it will only be 15% more radioactive. Because of this increase in radioactivity, the cost of handling the waste is higher.

This only exacerbates the biggest problem with nuclear power which remains the same: There is no long term plan for storing nuclear waste. Finland’s solution to the problem is to drill a hole deep in the ground, then bury the waste in it. Frankly, that sounds terrifying.

(Via: Green Inc.)

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Gas Stand-Off Forcing Europe To Use Nuclear Power